Originally Posted by Lillitu
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom
Originally Posted by Vaske
Don't take any of it personally, the system is just crazy-making by design, so that only the most desperate people will persist long enough to get any assistance.
I didn't respond to this comment for a couple of days to see if it became more palatable. It didn't. ..
The regulations for social services are available to the public. It just sometimes takes a little research and to be forceful in showing that you know what the laws actually are rather than what a particular caseworker prefers.
I know it's hard not to take this personally, given your family's involvement with social services, but I also believe that these systems are bureaucratic and pretty much against enrollees every step of the way. It may be that they were not actually designed that way intentionally- but they may as well be. They are confusing, the rules are hard to find (and often contradict what actual caseworkers say), and there are so many hoops to jump through to get help, that getting help is often a full time job in and of itself.
I know people in social services- and they are good people. They aspire to help- I know that. That does not mean that I do not think that the system is broken and not in poor people's favor. The system further victimizes people who ask for help. I know- I get CALWorks, Medi-Cal, and foodstamps.
First, the people who work in social services aren't the people who design the systems. Legislatures do that, and the actual people in the trenches don't have any say over the policies. (And my husband isn't in the trenches in that he's not a social worker. He's just working on software projects for social services, but I see the enormous time & energy that goes into making the system more efficient).
I found the income limit tables for the OP's state with 1 Google search. I clicked on 2 links to find the information that the OP's husband's UI puts them above the limit for cash assistance. I didn't spend any time looking for the rule her caseworker cited banning online classes, but I'm sure it's out there as well. When my BIL hit hard times, I looked up Medicaid applications for him, printed them, and mailed them to him to sign (not because he couldn't, just because it was all I could do to help from 1,200 miles away). It took 1/2 hour, and he got Medicaid as soon as he sent them in. So my experience is that research will help make the process smooth.
With the OP's case, I think there are a number of avenues that could & should be exhausted, but I'm not the OP. All I can do is offer advice from my computer. The one thing I definitely would do, especially if both of us were unemployed, would be to verify everything I'm being told.
Originally Posted by Vaske
Maybe "crazymaking by design" is wording it too strongly and too generally (though I think it is a fair description of the behavior of the director the OP is dealing with).
Any system inevitably ends up putting its own welfare first, regardless of the good intentions of those who created it and those who work within it.
I totally agree that the OP's caseworker sounds like she's not effective at communicating, at the very least. Every profession has those people, but I don't think it's fair to paint the whole system with that brush.